Byron, Shelley, and Their Pisan Circle

Byron, Shelley, and Their Pisan Circle

Byron, Shelley, and Their Pisan Circle

Byron, Shelley, and Their Pisan Circle

Excerpt

After a century and a quarter of Byron-Shelley scholarship, it might seem at first glance unlikely that much of value could be added to the biographies. Yet, although the fine life of Shelley (1940) by Professor Newman I. White may serve adequately the needs of Shelley students for many years to come, a full-scale biography of Byron is badly needed. This book is an attempt to write a segment of that biography.

My excuse for retelling the main events in the lives of Byron and Shelley during the Pisan period must be the availability of important new material. The main part of it consists of the following: the unpublished ByronDawkins and Taaffe-Dawkins correspondence, with certain other letters from Byron to Taaffe and Captain Roberts and from Count Guiccioli to his lawyer, Vincenzo Taglioni, in The University of Texas Library; an unpublished autobiography of Taaffe and a considerable collection of letters and other documents, in the possession of his great granddaughter; and numerous letters from Byron to Kinnaird and to Byron from Taaffe, Medwin, Trelawny, Hay, Dawkins, Kinnaird, and others, as well as a series of letters from Taaffe to John Murray, in the possession of Sir John Murray. In addition, I have been able to supplement these materials with letters of Byron, Trelawny, and Taaffe in the Keats-Shelley Memorial in Rome; letters of Trelawny and Taaffe in the library of Mr. Carl Pforzheimer; letters of Byron in the Morgan Library and the Berg Collection; unpublished portions of the Journal of Edward Ellerker Williams from the manuscript in the British Museum, and a great mass of court . . .

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